Autograph Hound Seeking Stephen Curry Signature Crossed the Line
By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary
There is no doubt that Stephen Curry is a player who experiences a higher-than-normal demand for his time and autograph. Last night, the star talent for the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors took to Twitter to offer up some advice to aggressive autograph seekers after he was intensely stalked by someone hoping to get him to sign.
The behavior of this person purporting to be a fan was in no way acceptable. Following an athlete in their vehicle in order to spend a moment with them is seriously crossing a line and is viewed as dangerous no matter what the reason. While Curry did not state if he indeed gave the fan the autograph they were looking for, one would hope that he politely declined the seeker.
For the past 25 years, athletes in all sports have seen a greatly increased demand for their autographs. Some players receive thousands of letters a year from collectors seeking a signature and the in-person autograph hounds often stake themselves outside of hotels and arenas hoping for the chance to get one. Some of these hounds are, in reality, true fans who are simply looking for an autograph from their heroes. Others, however, demand multiple signatures and attempt to mislead athletes and capitalize on their kindness in order to turn a profit. It is a sad by-product of the collectibles industry and many high-profile athletes have been known to simply ignore the crowds as they grow disenchanted by their demands.
There are plenty of perfectly acceptable methods in which to get an NBA star’s autograph. As collectors, we break boxes of card to get signed cards from many of our favorite stars and Panini America has gone to great lengths to get the biggest names in the game for its products. While they do not have Michael Jordan or LeBron James due to their respective deals with Upper Deck, you can potentially pull Stephen Curry, John Wall, Kobe Bryant and many more. Sure, the odds are more likely to pull a lesser name, but the secondary market allows for opportunities to get the stars at often decent prices. Tougher signers like Tim Duncan are not going to be cheap, though. Some players also sign for free through the mail and there are even autograph dealers who have brought players in for signings. Even at the recent 36th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, there were several opportunities to meet former stars such as Nate “Tiny” Archibald and Dennis Rodman along with a hot young prospect in Frank Kaminsky and it is worth following your local team on Twitter or another social media outlet to see if there are any free public signings.
In summary, there is no need to ever go to the lengths that Curry wrote about in order to get an autograph. It is a gross invasion of a person’s privacy – regardless of the fact that they are a public figure. No autograph is worth making an athlete feel uncomfortable and concerned about their security or that of their family. Being polite and respectful with athletes goes a long way and lashing out if a signature is refused just gives a bad name to those seeking autographs. It is bad enough that some hounds have ruined this aspect of the hobby for many athletes in all sports, so why make the situation worse than it already is?
Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Basketball and Beckett Hockey magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.